WhatsApp adds disappearing messages and updates storage management

Tyrone Stewart

WhatsApp has debuted a pair of features to improve its messaging experience for users and prevent device memories from being clogged up with images, GIFs, and other files.

The Facebook-owned messaging app has begun rolling out the ability to make messages disappear after seven days. With ‘Disappearing Messages’, users can select specific chats where their texts and media vanish seven days after sending them.

Even with the Disappearing Messages feature, however, messages may still exist once they have been deleted through quoted text, forwarded messages, backed up messages and, of course, screenshots – because, as many have found on other platforms where messages vanish, nothing ever really disappears.

WhatsApp has also updated its storage management tool to make it easier for users to delete the content that’s unnecessarily saved to their phone. The option still exists for users to prevent WhatsApp from automatically downloading content on to their devices, but now users with automatic downloads activated can easily review and delete items also.

The redesigned tool, available under ‘Manage Storage’ within Settings/Storage and Data, places items that have been forwarded multiple times into a dedicated list and files larger than 5MB in another for bulk review and deletion. Users can also see how much storage space is being taken up by individual chats and clear these out.